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Mercedes-Benz dealer Caledonian Truck & Van goes for growth

Fast-growing Ayr-based Mercedes-Benz dealer Caledonian Truck & Van has won planning permission to double the size of its workshop.

South Ayrshire Council’s approval rounds off a memorable nine months for the dealership, which changed hands last October. Since then vehicle sales have surged and demand for its after sales services has also shot up.

The company has responded by embarking on a major recruitment drive, investing in 22 new members of staff to work alongside the 30 who had been employed by the previous franchisee.

Work on extending the existing six-bay workshop on Heathfield Road is scheduled to begin shortly and the new-look facility, which will be able to service up to 12 vehicles at the same time, should be up and running by the end of November.

The project is expected to cost around £220,000, on top of the £140,000 which Caledonian Truck & Van has already invested this year in specialist truck hoists, diagnostic equipment and paint mixing systems.

New owner T.O.M., Scotland’s leading, independently-owned vehicle rental specialist, has taken a back seat and given Dealer Principal Alex Barron and his team all of the encouragement and financial support they need. Its faith has been rewarded with an impressive upturn in the dealership’s performance.

Caledonian Truck & Van retails the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter van ranges, and provides parts and service support for commercial vehicles of all sizes and makes, including heavy trucks.

Within the last six months it has achieved the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 environmental standards.

In the period January-July 2012 Sales Manager John Johnston and his colleagues sold a record 260 new panel vans, chassis cabs and Traveliner minibuses – already more than 300 per cent up on the total for last year! Meanwhile, they have also found new owners this year for 59 pre-owned vans, most of which wear three-pointed stars and were sold through the manufacturer’s Used1 programme – this is already 60 per cent more than the dealership’s total used vehicle sales tally in 2011.

Business levels are also running well ahead of previous years for the company’s after sales teams. As well as offering vehicle repair, maintenance and parts services, Caledonian Truck & Van undertakes MoT testing of cars and light commercial vehicles, including minibuses and camper vans, and operates its own accident repair centre which caters for all makes of vehicle.

"These are exciting times for our business," declared Alex Barron. "As well as retaining all of the staff employed by the previous owner, who between them had accumulated a wealth of Mercedes-Benz product knowledge and expertise, we have welcomed many new colleagues, including experienced sales specialists and – in line with our commitment to ‘grow our own’ – six apprentice technicians and parts specialists."

He continued: "The transition of ownership could not have gone more smoothly and there was no disruption to our customers or to service levels. The new company which has emerged is certainly much better placed to deliver the industry-leading quality of service that operators of Mercedes-Benz vehicles are entitled to expect."

* To celebrate its first year under new owners, Caledonian Truck & Van is offering two fantastic retail deals throughout 2012: A van MoT test for £39.99 (including one free re-test), and alloy wheel refurbishment for cars and vans for just £35 +VAT per wheel. Customers should simply quote "Loyalty 2012" when making their bookings.

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